Enmore ELCR 1995 Velier 16 Year Old
Velier was founded by Casimir Chaix in Genoa in 1947 as a wine and spirits importer and distributor. By the 1980s they were still a small family-company with less than ten staff. This all changed in 1986 when it was purchased by Luca Gargano, a former brand ambassador for Saint James who was at the time still in his twenties. Under his direction, they selected their first single cask whiskies in 1992, and their first rum in 1996. In the decades that followed, Velier have gone on to become one of the most collectible brands in the industry, and Gargano has positioned them as the one of the foremost authorities and bottlers of rum anywhere in the world.
Velier's earliest Demerara releases were bottled in 1996, laying the groundwork for what would later become affectionately known as the "Age of Velier's Demerara." This began in earnest in 2004, after Gargano was invited to the Demerara Distillers Ltd warehouses in Guyana to select tropically aged barrels to be bottled by Velier for the first time. The "age" only lasted until 2015, but has an enduring legacy of having indelibly raised the profile of the historic rum stills and marque's of Guyana, which have become some of the most sought after in the world, these Velier releases in particular.
This is a tropically aged 16 year old, full proof Demerara rum. It was bottled from eight barrels distilled at Enmore in 1995 and bottled in February 2011. The general consensus is that the Enmore distillery closed in 1994, however this label purports to contain rum from the "last distillation at Enmore Plantation," suggesting some last batches may have been run through the still early that year. To add to the confusion, it is not clear what the ELCR marque on the barrels refers to. It is likely that the reference to this being a pot still rum is an error, and this was probably distilled on the traditional Enmore still. Interestingly, Velier's own "Rumbase" also lists this as column-distilled.
The Enmore sugar estate was established by Edward Henry Porter in the early 19th century after he inherited and converted his father’s cotton plantation on the east bank of the Demerara river. Once one of many in the area, by the time the government in Guyana had begun to nationalise and consolidate the country’s rum production in 1974, it was one of only four remaining. The traditional still at Enmore was the historic two-column wooden coffey still, constructed back in 1880. Modelled almost exactly after the first continuous still patented by Aeneas Coffey in 1832, it is constructed from Greenheart wood, which is native to Guyana and is mostly used in boat-building due to its ability to remain strong while constantly wet. The wood is also well suited to distilling, stripping spirit of sulphites in the same manner that copper does. Enmore also received the a single wooden pot still when the Versailles distillery closed in 1978. When Enmore was shuttered in 1994, both of these were moved to Uitvlugt, and are now in operation as “Heritage Stills” at Diamond, the last remaining rum producer in the country.
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